Field Test, Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

My recently purchased Keen lows are great for wearing around the well worn trails of the  valley I live in, but I needed something more substantial for the rocky terrain of the high country. After quite a few months of procrastination I finally settled on the Asolo Fugitive GTX mids. The boots feelsturdy and well made and the $250 price tag is considerably smaller than some of the other Gor-Tex boots in this class.

Asolo Fugitive.jpgI’ve actually been wearing these around for a couple of weeks to get a good feel for their capabilities. The boots are a bit stiffer than what I’m used to, without succumbing to a “hard ride” and the little bit of stiffness is a welcome feature when the trail gets rocky and uneven. The Asolo Syncro sole provides excellent protection from sharp rocks awesome traction in wet or dry conditions and the rubber toe box is excellent armor against toe stubs.

The boot required no breaking in and was comfortable right out of the box. I discovered no hot spots or pokies inside the boot, and my feet are blister free after miles of hiking in all kinds of conditions that a Colorado springtime can throw at a trekker. Yesterday was my final big test as I received the opportunity to slog through the cold wet melting snow following a major Colorado spring snowstorm. Even with wet snow packing itself onto the tops of the shoes, my feet remained warm and dry inside thanks to the breathable and waterproof Gor-Tex membrane. And although not a solid leather boot, this boot with the waterproof membrane is well insulated against the cold and is an excellent choice for snowshoeing. A gaiter ring would be nice, but just hooking my gaiters to the laces worked fine too. Of course a winter boot should be considered for the extreme winter temperatures experienced by wintertime 14er summit seekers.

The Fugitive also sports an excellent lacing system and comes with quality laces with plenty of length. The laces slide easily through all the eyelets allowing for quick tightening and just the right amount of pressure throughout the foot span. Due to the soft lining and quality lacing system, the tops of the boots can be tied snugly without cutting off circulation and causing discomfort. In all my trekking over rock strewn trails in the last couple of weeks I have experienced no painful ankle rolls.

These attractive boots are light and nimble and I am looking forward to a good summer on some new Colorado 14ers without having to spend any time tending to sore feet. I can definitely recommend this boot to my readers along with my regards and wishes for happy trail hunting this season! The Asolo GTX can be purchased at REI online and at local retail stores.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items


Field Testing Keen Targhee II Hiking Boots

Hot weather is fast approaching and a pair of Keen Targhee low hikers looked like just the ticket for summer hiking comfort. The Targhee is a durable leather and mesh waterproof boot with just the right mix of protection, weight and breathability.

Keen TargheeColorado 14ers are my passion but summiting one of these beasts means many hours on the trail in every kind of condition that Mother Nature can throw at a person. Conditions can range from the heat of summer at the base of the mountain to the dead of winter above treeline.

The Targhee comes with the patented “Keen Dry” waterproof membrane, a material that keeps water out while allowing good airflow for comfort in the heat. The waterproof membrane also provides a decent layer of insulation as temperatures plummet in the high terrain.

I deliberately purchased these boots a half size large to make room for an extra layer of blister preventing sock liners and for a thick memory foam foot liner. After a few hikes and a couple full days at work on the brutally hard floors I have to say this may be the most comfortable pair of hikers I have ever experienced. The durable rubber toe shield provides excellent protection from rocks and the Keen Dry water proof membrane appears to perform admirably. After miles of constant wear I didn’t experience any blister causing friction points or toe curl, even with my somewhat wide foot profile. If you are an ankle roller, or if you are planning a lot of hiking on rock strewn trails, it might be a good idea to consider going with a mid or high profile boot.

At $125, this Keen hiker is a bargain. I highly recommend Keen hiking boots for rugged outdoor wear, whether in the rugged mountain terrain or on the flat dirt trails of the midwest.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

New Vasque Boots

Not many things make me happier than a new pair of hiking boots. It always seemed to me that a person’s shoes are an indication of who and what they are. A good looking pair of hiking boots are a symbol of freedom, outdoors and adventure, serious equipment befitting a mountain lone wolf.

Vasque Breeze

Vasque Breeze

So yesterday was a big day when my Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX hiking boots arrived for me to give a test ride. More than just a pair of shoes, they are a cool excuse for me to lace up and head out onto the rocky trails of the high peaks where I will discover how they feel in the snow, on the sharp rocks, during a stream crossing, across a boulder field and on steep climbs. Considering the delight I have received from walking in my first pair of Vasque’s, I’m quite certain that my field report on the Breeze model for the Examiner will be filled with positive comments.

First things first though, the boots have been unpacked from the box and photographed before their christening in the mud, snow, rocks and ice of the Pike National Forest. Laced up and tried on, they have proven to be a perfect fit, comfortable as a glove right out of the box. I am looking forward to living in these boots for a couple of weeks, walking, hiking and climbing in them every time I get the chance. So stay tuned as we find out what the Vasque Breeze GTX is made of. Also, be sure to get your free subscription to my Examiner news feed and you will receive an email the minute my field report is available!

Close Call

Well I managed to cut that one close. Have to get an article out to the Examiner a minimum of every two weeks to maintain my hard earned “newsworthy” status. This turned out to be a rough two weeks another bout of pneumonia to deal with running myself ragged trying to get my patient to all the doctor appointments and pick up all the prescriptions. I tend to need a lot of peace and quiet for any ideas to come into my idea resistant brain, but much to my surprise on the very last day it occurred to me that I might know something about hiking boots.

Crystal Falls on the north slope of Pikes Peak

Crystal Falls on the north slope of Pikes Peak

So I went online and did a search of this year’s new models and as I paged through the results I realized that I was more of an expert than I thought. I perused the high end Lowa, Vasque and Rocky boot sites and then went on to look at the less lofty Merrel and Hi-Tech models. As I did so I realized that I have owned and literally walked the soles off of all except the Lowa brand. Well, actually my Vasque’s have proven impervious to wear at this point, but with any luck I will get the chance to wear those out as well.

So anyway I managed to put together the article and get it published by the deadline and in doing so was able to give myself another walk down memory lane. My first good boots were actually Coleman Dry’s and I wore them out snowshoeing and replaced them with some cheap non-waterproof boots from Walmart. Don’t remember what they were. It was my photo trip to the Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival that I decided I would have to get some good boots. The mass launch was very early in the morning and I determined that a climb to the top of the hill just east of the Chatfield beach would give me a bird’s eye view of the whole thing and by the time I had slogged through the wet grass to the top my feet were cold and soaked. Soon thereafter I purchased my first Gore-Tex lined Rocky’s. Those boots carried my feet to some of my best photo memories and snowshoe adventures in my memory. They took me to the top of Mount Evans and high into the Indian Creek Wilderness to Crater Lakes. I walked countless miles of tracks getting my collection of railway imagery. Finally just after moving into the shadow of Pikes Peak I was walking my dogs one day when I noticed my feet seemed unusually cold. Close inspection revealed that the soles had become separated from the boots. Then came a pair of waterproof Merrel’s which I wore out on the trails of the Pike National Forest near the north face of the big mountain. More of the same removed the soles from a pair of Hi-Tec’s and now I’m working on my most durable pair yet, the Vasque’s. God willing I will wear those out exploring the Lost Creek Wilderness and maybe even the Collegiate Peaks.

And by some stroke of good fortune, my hiking boots article may have landed another story in my lap. Much to my surprise, someone from Vasque must have liked my story and it looks like I am going to get the chance to field test a pair of Vasque’s new Breeze 2.0 model. Be sure to find out all the details on this fantastic looking boot by getting your free subscription to my Examiner news feed in time to receive the report!